What is the Upside Down Draft Strategy?
It's a method of drafting that has been around long before fantasy football found a home on the Internet. I decided to study it, create a few processes that made it teachable online, and over the course of the next decade, explore variations of the idea as a writer.
The basis of the strategy is to draft positions other than running back during the first 3-4 rounds and then go heavy on backs for the next 5-6 rounds. The variation is to draft one established stud in the first round (the "First-Round Anchor) and then wait until the 5th or 6th round as the starting point to select a block of runners.
I initially called it "Maximizing Sleeper RBs" in a 2009 article.
In that column, I revealed that the turnover among starting-caliber running backs was often larger than receivers. It meant a fantasy owner willing to go against the grain of public opinion, could use that information to his benefit. Between 2009 and 2014, the prevailing public opinion has been to draft backs early and place a lot more attention on the other positions between the 5th and 10th rounds.
Isn't This the same as Zero RB? Did Zero RB copy You?
In recent years, Shawn Siegele wrote about a variation of this strategy and coined it Zero RB. It's the name that stuck in the public consciousness of many fantasy owners and the one most in the community have used ever since.